The newly sighted fail to match seen with felt

Nat Neurosci. 2011 May;14(5):551-3. doi: 10.1038/nn.2795. Epub 2011 Apr 10.


Would a blind subject, on regaining sight, be able to immediately visually recognize an object previously known only by touch? We addressed this question, first formulated by Molyneux three centuries ago, by working with treatable, congenitally blind individuals. We tested their ability to visually match an object to a haptically sensed sample after sight restoration. We found a lack of immediate transfer, but such cross-modal mappings developed rapidly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blindness / congenital
  • Blindness / physiopathology*
  • Blindness / psychology*
  • Child
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Sensory Deprivation / physiology
  • Touch / physiology*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*